Soundtrack Saturdays: West Side Story

December 10, 2021, the movie West Side Story (directed by Steven Spielberg) is officially out in theatres (check your local listings). 

The soundtrack’s songs are incredible, like the original 1961 version, but contemporary. It starts with an orchestra piece by Leonard Bernstein as an introduction to West Side Story. The melodies help describe each song’s mood and give an idea of the scene. The music is beautiful, rich and intricate, as well as timeless. Leonard Bernstein’s compositions are timeless with Stephen Sondheim, Irwin Kostal, and Sid Ramin. Garth Sunderland was in charge of the additional orchestrations. Gustavo Dudamel was incredible as the conductor on this record. The music editors Joe E. Rand and Ramiro Belgardt did a great job. David Newman’s arrangements are well-structured. Matt Sullivan is the music supervisor/soundtrack producer whose work is fantastic. Good job to the executive soundtrack producers Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The personnel of the soundtrack did an excellent job with the contemporary touches.  

The actors’ voices are impressive, each one with a fantastic vocal range. The duets on this soundtrack are also lovely. The first is Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort performing The Balcony Scene (Tonight). One can hear the love in this piece. The second example is Ariana DeBose and Rachel Zegler with the song A Boy Like That/I Have a Love. Also, there are dynamic multi-artist performances, including Jet Song and America

Mike Faist, Kyle Coffman, Kevin Csolak, John Michael Fiumara, Patrick Higgins, and the Jets sang Jet Song remarkable.  America is passionate and bold, performed by Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Ana Isabelle, Sharks, and Shark Girls. The artists on the soundtrack are remarkable. They sing beautifully with their style and take on West Side Story while honouring a classic. Another example is the Tonight Quintet performed by Mike Faist, David Alvarez, Ariana DeBose, Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, the Jets and the Sharks. Jeanine Tesori, the supervising vocal producer, did impressive work on the soundtrack.

The soundtrack West Side Story is available.

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